Saturday, August 24, 2013

Honey, water, and wind

Being a recent college graduate has its struggles. Not only am I still trying to figure out how to be an adult, what I want to do with my life, and how to make it all work - there's also the financial side of things.

For the most part, I'm completely happy living frugally. I've shopped almost exclusively at thrift stores for the past five years, and I love it. I share a tiny apartment, and try to grow some of our own food (although the key word is often 'try'). I don't need/buy a lot of 'stuff' - aside from art supplies, and that's a completely different story!

However, sometimes the financial situation gets in the way of being able to support causes that are important to me. I would like to be able to buy everything local, and preferably organic. I would like to support local artisans, buy less that is imported, use less energy, use renewable energy, and save the world while I'm at it. Big goals, I know.

The only thing is, I can't. Buying second-hand clothes is both environmentally friendly and friendly to my bank account, but local/organic food is not cheap. So I pick my battles. I visit the farmers market occasionally, and usually buy a few things. At the grocery store, I aim for produce that is in season, and try to look for things that are at least grown in the US.

I'm sure you've all heard about the issues with bees dying in massive numbers - if not, look it up. Not only are local, small beekeepers working hard to keep the bee populations alive, their honey is pure, raw, and so much better for you than the pasteurized stuff you get at the grocery store. So we recently made the decision that buying our honey locally was important, and that although there would be a cost increase, it is something that we can afford to make the switch with.

Queen Anne's Lace honey - it's really dark and delicious :)

Also, we found out that Portland General Electric, who we get our electricity from, offers a renewable energy option. If you opt in, they replace all of your electricity (normally from coal, natural gas, and some hydropower) with 50% wind, 48% low-impact hydropower (better for the fishies!), and 2% wood waste. It does cost more, but for our small apartment, it's only about $2-3 extra per month. It's still not necessarily perfect (I'd like solar panels), but it's really nice to find options for lessening my environmental impact that work with my budget, and with renting. I don't know how many other companies offer things like this, but it's worth looking into! 

What are some things that you do to save the world?

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